Effective Listening Enhances Business Relationships
The importance of active listening
Effective listening is otherwise known as active listening. And it’s linked with business success. With it, you will move conversations forwards, encourage open-minded thinking and creativity and get to the heart of the matter more effectively.
You will enhance your skills of influencing, persuading and negotiating. You will avoid conflict and misunderstandings and you will resolve issues more quickly.
Active listening enhances business relationships. It increases your ability to respond effectively to others, allows you to create more constructive conversations, and enables you to influence more easily.
Without active / effective listening, you are more likely to stumble in your business dealings and inadvertently hinder progress.
Effective listening forms an integral part of our leadership communication programs, which are delivered by Helen Sewell.
Helen leans on her counselling qualifications to help clients to focus on the speaker, listen actively, and reap the subsequent rewards.
Effective listening or pseudo-listening?
Is your attention truly on the person speaking? All the time? Really?
Many people think they are really listening, without recognising what effective listening actually means.
There is a lot of ‘pseudo-listening’ masquerading as the real thing.
Pseudo-listening meets your needs rather than the speaker’s needs. It means focusing on yourself rather than on what the speaker is actually saying.
This does nothing for business relationships or business success. In fact it hinders them. But it's easy to do and incredibly widespread in the workplace.
Do you ever listen with the intention of:
- Waiting to hear just one thing? (inadvertently ignoring everything else)
- Checking whether your ideas are in danger of rejection?
- Buying time to formulate your next contribution?
- Trying to find the weak points in an argument so you can show you are correct?
These are just a few examples of pseudo-listening rather than effective listening.
Effective listening, or unrecognised listening blocks?
Even worse than pseudo listening, perhaps, is not listening at all. Not even being willing to listen.
Many people block their ability to listen at times, usually without being aware of it.
And of course if you're not listening, you'll miss important information and important opportunities.
But as with pseudo-listening it's very easy to do, and an incredibly widespread behavioural pattern.
Switching off your ability to process incoming information is highly ineffectual to say the least. And you may be caught out when you're asked a question and you have no idea what it's about.
Listening blocks can include:
- Dreaming: losing attention and drifting off in your mind
- Rehearsing: going over in your head what you are about to say next
- Advising: devising suggestions and missing the point
- Judging: having a negative, knee-jerk reaction before the speaker finishes.
Do any of these seem familiar? There are many more as well.
Free e-course: learn effective listening skills for greater influence
To learn more about developing your effective listening skills as an integral part of constructive conversations, why not make use of our free e-course?
Every two weeks you’ll receive practical advice about listening and many other aspects of successful communication. Our clients tell us it’s a gem of a course, and they find it incredibly valuable. Just sign up here and we'll send the first lesson today.
Contact us now
Developing effective listening skills forms part of our Executive Communication Programs for senior and C-level personnel.
If you’d like to find out more about what’s involved in our programs, or to discuss your own aspirations, then please do get in touch and we’ll be delighted to talk with you.
- Call us on +44 (0) 8 456 800 456
- Email [email protected]
We’re here to listen. And to help. We’ll guide you towards brilliant communication with all its positive implications for business success.